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CMHC aims to make mortgages more attainable for self-employed Canadians

A house for sale is pictured in this undated file photo.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. is making changes intended to make it easier for the self-employed to qualify for a mortgage.

The national housing agency says it's giving lenders more guidance and flexibility to help self-employed borrowers.

Self-employed Canadians may have a harder time qualifying for a mortgage as their incomes may vary or be less predictable.

The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, July 19, 2018 11:18AM EDT

CMHC is providing examples of factors that can be used to support the lender's decision to lend to borrowers who have been operating their business for less than 24 months, or in the same line of work for less than 24 months.

It is also providing a broader range of documentation options to increase flexibility for satisfying income and employment requirements.

The changes, which apply to both transactional and portfolio insurance, will take effect Oct. 1.

CMHC chief commercial officer Romy Bowers said self-employed Canadians represent a significant part of the workforce.

"These policy changes respond to that reality by making it easier for self-employed borrowers to obtain CMHC mortgage loan insurance and benefit from competitive interest rates," Bowers said in a statement.